End Your Summer With a Roadtrip to Burlington, Vt.
September 18, 2015 - table lamp
When we lived in Burlington from 2010 – 2014, my most-frequented food-and-drink spots were certainly dive bars. Manhattan Pizza Pub‘s Philly Friday was a weekly must, when a foot-long, tainted underling and a side of frail fries is $5.99 — and desired cans of Heady Topper are $5. (Pro-tip: Every bar has Heady Topper. Go out; don’t rubbish your time in packie lines.) At Burlington’s best Boston sports bar, The OP, we consumed many a play of giveaway popcorn, yet we was never dauntless adequate to give a soft-shell tacos a try. Vermont Pub Brewery‘s toad-in-the-hole creates good leftovers for brunch a subsequent day.
But you’re holding a highway trip; we wish to live it up. While food has always been clever in a locally-focused and sprouting state, a grill stage has been towering in new years. (Though, some notable closures have strike Burlington this year.) What follows is a list of casual, rather off-the-beaten-path suggestions for a solid 36 hours in Vermont’s biggest city.
- Bluebird Barbecue: This kitschy, roadside mark was a younger kin of Vermont’s initial gastropub, Bluebird Tavern, and non-stop when a Tavern changed downtown in 2012. Sadly, Bluebird Tavern recently shuttered for good. Bluebird Barbecue focuses on informal grill styles, including Texas-style brisket smoked in a shed on-site, wafting tasty aromas by a Old North End. Pitmaster wings are an overwhelming starter, yet a downside is a “maple-q” glitter diminishes a need to use one of three, house-made grill salsas on any table, Kansas City Red, Carolina-style apple vinegar, and honeyed maple. Warning: This is not a good place to take vegetarians.
- Pho Hong: Located comparatively distant from downtown, this family-owned Vietnamese grill in a Old North End is a best in Vermont. While many fans soap-box about a pho, try the bun bo xao xa ot, a noodle play with beef and citrusy lemongrass; com chien, a rather hazed Vietnamese boiled rice; or hu tieu mi xao, white and yellow noodles with bean sprouts and stretch egg. Bring a integrate of your possess beers or a bottle of wine; many Asian restaurants are splendidly BYOB in a larger Burlington area, and we can take your time with a menu — use isn’t rapid during this bustling place.
- Duino! (Duende): To report this internationally-inspired eatery as “eclectic” would be an understatement. Burlington’s a musty place, and proprietors Lee Anderson and Kat Wright’s small sovereignty on North Winooski Ave. epitomizes it. Duino is trustworthy and open to their strange cafe, bar, and song venue Radio Bean, and, given we moved, The Light Club Lamp Shop. All 3 are flashy with selected lights, colorful art, taxidermied birds, incompatible furniture, so most gold, and some-more to notice on each visit. Food is labelled well. Since you’re in Vermont, maybe a heaping, garlicky image of steamed kale is a good place to start. Definitely check out a specials — Today Is Special, records a poster — yet steep and waffles, Korean beef and fungus bulgogi, or white bean papusa are all estimable orders.
- El Cortijo: Beginning in 2010 with a flagship gastropub and drink bar, The Farmhouse Group now operates 4 farm-to-table concepts in larger Burlington. El Cortijo — “The Farmhouse” en Espanol — is a musty cantina in a renovated caf� car. (During a 2012 visit, Eater Boston editor Rachel Leah Blumenthal was smitten with a suave toilet.) Make certain a queso fundido with house-pickled jalapenos comes to a list first. The taco plates, while really not cheap, are stoical with top-notch ingredients. Bright colors and flavors abound, as we can name from all varieties — including artistic specials — on plates of dual or three. Try a carnitas, with fermented kohlrabi; chorizo, with an addictive queso fresca; and quinoa, mole, roasted corn salsa, and, of course, Vermont cheddar.
- Citizen Cider: This tough cider association was an problematic favorite of this budding cider nerd when it had a handful of bar seats during a prolongation trickery in a deactivated Army designation north of a city. The month we changed away, Citizen non-stop adult a 9,000-square feet home in a artsy and function South End of Burlington. The new taproom always has ciders like The Dirty Mayor (a ginger cider), Wit’s Up (fermented with a Belgian yeast). and a flagship Unified Press accessible on breeze and to take home, as good as singular releases and specialty ciders. If you’re not honeyed on cider, (you’re wrong, but) there are internal beers, as well. The food menu isn’t an afterthought, with a undoubted Vermont cheeseboard; poutine with hand-cut fries, steep fat gravy, and internal cheese curds; cider-braised grill brisket; burning apple wings; and more.
[Inset photo: El Cortijo’s toilet, by Rachel Leah Blumenthal]